Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Serves 6 (or about 10 children)

We used to have meatballs when we were little, and now our boys love them too. Children just love slurping up the spaghetti!


  • For the meatballs:
    • 2tbsp olive oil
    • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
    • 900g (2lb) freshly minced beef
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs, such as marjoram, or a smaller quantity of rosemary
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the tomato sauce:
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 100g (4oz) onion, peeled and sliced
    • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
    • 2 x 410g tins chopped tomatoes (or use 900g (2lb) ripe, peeled and chopped tomatoes
    • Salt, sugar and freshly ground black pepper
  • To serve:
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 150g (5o) mozzarella, grated
    • 450g (1lb) spaghetti


  1. To make the meatballs, heat the olive oil in a heavy, stainless-steel saucepan over a gentle heat and add the onion and garlic. Cover and sweat for 4 minutes, until soft and a little golden, then allow to cool.
  2. In a bowl, mix the minced beef with the cold sweated onion and garlic, then add the herbs and the beaten egg. Season the mixture to taste. Fry a tiny bit to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Divide the mixture into about 24 round balls and place in a dish. Cover the meatballs and refrigerate until required.
  3. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a stainless-steel saucepan. Add the sliced onion and crushed garlic, toss until coated, cover and sweat over
  4. a gentle heat until soft and a tiny bit golden. Add the tomatoes, mix and season with salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of sugar. Gently simmer, uncovered, for approximately 30 minutes or until softened.
  5. Heat up a frying pan over a medium heat with about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook the meatballs for about 10 minutes. When they are done, transfer into a dish, add the tomato sauce and sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Place under a preheated grill to let the cheese melt.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a pan of boiling water. Drain and serve on individual plates with the meatballs piled on top.